09 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Susan Powers says "Stop the Insanity"!!


The spotlight continues to shine bright on the real estate industry and the focus of many newspapers, magazines and news programs have mainly been one sided with the almost exclusive position being spoken about is what will the affect be with the new changes for a) consumers; b) what the future holds for real estate agents and brokerage companies.

I get why the media is almost entirely choosing to cover one angle of this story and that’s because it sells papers, advertising and viewership. That’s the name of the modern media game where it’s dog-eat-dog (much like my industry) and fueling the hype is what puts the food on the table. No matter that the message being spread (not reported I add) is often flawed, or worse, entirely one sided and self serving but come on media people, wake up and get a conscience! Go out and find a few respectable, professional hard working Realtors and ask them their thoughts. Not just the discount brokers who at best maybe represent 1% of the 100,000 real estate sales people across Canada that are now having to deal with these new rules and the constant one sided reporting you have slanted reports have created.

I did manage to get a good laugh in this evening while I watched a short video clip on a recent interview that the Agenda’s Steve Paikin had with a Broker who has been in the business for three whole years. Watching Mr. Paiken throw out questions with a fifth graders mentality was absolutely hilarious! One of three things passed through my mind about Steve as I watched. 1) he is an idiot; 2) he is extremely naive; 3) he truly does have an “agenda”. I highly doubt #1 or #2 is the case, but I guess one never knows. But the main thing is I got a good belly laugh from a program that usually is quiet boring and serious.

I would also like to point out that by no means am I a believer that nothing is wrong in the real estate industry as personally I think plenty is. We have just come off an incredibly long run on activity and increasing house values over the past ten years. Hang in there Mr. Garth Turner one day you MAY be right and house values will start to decline. Only every experienced real estate agent or economist I know doesn’t think the run will last for ever. Keep writing your books, or playing politics or whatever it is you are doing now. Its so hard to keep up with all your career changes! During this time a lot of money has been made for those who either bought or sold, all levels of government (and in so many ways OMG) and of course real estate sales people and brokerages and not to leave out the newspaper industry who survive on real estate advertising (agents wake up!) and many other associated industries.

Back to the faults of the real estate industry. There are some big ones that have been neglected over the past five or six years as everyone has been busy keeping up with the multitude of legal changes and the crazy market. The big one I like Mr. Paiken is this thing called the privacy act where we as agents have to pretty much guard/protect/pledge our allegiance to protect the identity, information gathered during the transaction, and the house values from the public. Now if “I” as a licensed real estate professional has to do this what makes you think “its so simple”  and “why would anyone oppose this” for the general public to have easy access to this information? WE as agents have to provide criminal reports for Pete’s sake just to apply for our license! Silly Steve! LMAO and ROTFL!! 🙂 #1, #2 or #3. Which is it?

There are other changes that I do think you will start to see more of though as these new rules take affect. For starters I think the general public are going to find it a lot harder to put a value on their home. Bye bye free information. I can’t think of why any professional Realtor worth their salt will be disclosing this information without a written agreement first. In the past we would gladly tell you to call in three agents and chances are you could have had all of that information in your hands by nights end. Not anymore. Calling up an agent on the phone to ask about the price of your neighbours house (yes all of you noisy neighbours know who you are!)…things will be changing on that as well. And so will be plenty of more, but that’s just my guess!

In my opinion this isn’t just about saving money for sellers when it comes time for them to sell the house they never paid a commission for when they bought. I have come across this conversation countless times in the past 15 years. Wow! ___% (insert said fee) to: invest my own money up front, price, market, show and negotiate the sale. That seems like an awful lot of money. Agreed, it is a lot of money I reply. “Well how does half of that amount sound” I ask? Awesome that sounds great says Mr. and Mrs. Seller. Rap you’re the best! Well thanks for noticing I would reply. Now consider the first have payable from when you purchased the house with me 5 years ago, and the remaining half payable to assist in the current sale now. Make sense?

Wouldn’t we all be happier if the seller paid their agent and the buyer paid their own agent? This way you would know exactly what you are paying for, and the good agents would be separated from the bad. Just a thought but tell me what you think?

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